Niabi Zoo says goodbye to African lion, Nala

(KWQC / Niabi Zoo)

(KWQC / Niabi Zoo)

Officials with the Niabi Zoo say they have said goodbye to a long-term resident.

In a release, officials said their 17-year-old African female lion, Nala, was “humanely euthanized” on Monday due to advanced bone cancer.

“This is never and (sic) easy decision," zoo director Lee Jackson said in the release. "The Zoo’s keeper staff, veterinary team, and managers in the end had to consider her welfare and best quality of life. That she could reach such an advanced age is a testament to the level of care afforded to Nala and all the animals at the Niabi Zoo, and to the tireless dedication of our keeper, and veterinary staffs.”

You can read more from their release below.

"As animal care science and veterinary techniques have improved, many animals in zoos are living well past what can be expected by their wild counterparts. Older animals in zoos face the same challenges as elderly humans; dental, eye and joint issues, digestive problems, and weakened immune function. At Niabi Zoo, keepers, and veterinarians work closely to make sure all of or animals have the best possible quality of life throughout every stage of life. All animals, but particularly the older ones, are monitored daily for subtle signs change in mobility, body condition, appetite, demeanor, and interactions with conspecifics, with any changes noted and recorded in exacting detail.

Nala came to Niabi at the age of one and a half. She was a recognized favorite at the zoo for a generation of Niabi Zoo visitors. She was one of two female African Lions at the zoo. The second lion, 18-year-old “Savanna” can still be viewed by zoo visitors."